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Less is more – BASF plasticisers from circular feedstocks

BASF are now using circular feedstocks to produce sustainable plasticisers.


The BASF ChemCycling™ initiative aims to manufacture products based on chemically recycled plastic waste. Working with selected partners they use a process called pyrolisis to transform plastic waste into a secondary raw material. The resultant oil is then fed into BASF’s integrated production plants and allocated to selected sales products, which subsequently become ‘sustainability enablers,’ certified according to a third-party biomass-balance approach.
The second strategy uses renewable raw materials, such as biogas derived from organic waste and vegetable oils, to act as feedstocks for biomass balanced (BMB) chemicals that use less fossil fuels and reduce CO emissions – compelling features for manufacturers and consumers alike.

BTC Europe are now able to offer these sustainable plasticiser grades including Hexamoll® DINCH BMB, Palatinol® N BMB, Palatinol® 10P BMB, Plastomoll® DOA BMB.


Contact Chris Morgan: Head of Sales Coatings, Plastics and Inks BTC UK,

Raw material availability and price hikes may end up as 2021’s biggest issue

Lack of availability of key raw materials and packaging, and significant price increases are causing significant disruption to the coatings and printing ink industries in the UK and across Europe.

There are four significant trends affecting raw material prices:

  • Strong global market demand has led to shortages on many raw materials
  • The oil price has risen by 58% since November (currently $68 a barrel)
  • The global shortage of shipping containers has led to a sharp rise in transport costs from Asia to Europe thus further restricting supplies to Europe.
  • Additional non-tariff costs related to the new UK customs arrangements with the EU are adding to the cost of imported raw materials into the UK from Europe.

However, there are also some specific reasons for some of the recent increases.

Solvents are one category where prices are going through the roof.  Some examples in BCF’s monthly raw material prices survey shows the largest increases in solvent prices in January 2021 versus 12 months ago are acetone (123%) n-butyl acetate (91%), IPA (41%) and n-butanol (54%). A critical issue here are two force majeures at major chemical plants producing butyl acetate.

In January, BCF issued a press release reporting sharp price increases for epoxy resins, of as much as 60% in Q3 2020. Similar problems are affecting the market for polyester resins with factory closures in Singapore and Sweden as well an explosion at a factory in China adding to the difficulties. There are also problems with bisphenol-A with stocks being diverted to polycarbonates. Neopentyl glycol and methanol are also both reported to be in short supply.

Concerns have also been raised about pigment shortages, such as red and yellow iron oxide.  Plastic polymers are also in short supply, affecting availability and prices of packaging, with 5L paint cans 10% higher than at the same period last year, and tin plate has had a similar increase.

“Given that raw materials and freight comprise the majority of the overall cost to produce paints, coatings and printing inks, this trend will have a major impact on the operations of BCF member companies,” said BCF CEO Tom Bowtell. “Where possible, BCF members will seek to mitigate higher costs via internal process optimisation measures, alternate sourcing and increased efficiencies”.

BCF grows influence on global coatings industry stage

At the annual meeting of the World Coatings Council in March 2021, Tom Bowtell, Chief Executive of the British Coatings Federation, was elected Vice President.

The World Coatings Council is made up of members representing associations from the United States, China, European Union, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, Japan, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand, Turkey, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

The Council, which provides a forum for exchange and cooperation on major issues and priorities facing the industry, has established itself as a global voice with the United Nations, Governments and NGOs.

“Following the UK’s decision to leave the EU, the BCF are keen to contribute to the significant issues affecting the coatings industry worldwide. It is a great honour to have the trust of my industry colleagues from associations around the world,” said Tom Bowtell.

One of the most important issues for the coatings industry to focus on is the sustainability agenda. With the UK hosting United Nations COP26 later this year, it is an opportune moment for the BCF to be involved with helping the World Coatings Council evaluate the coatings industry successes and challenges against EU Sustainable Development Goals, in a report which will be published later this year.

Andy Doyle, President of the World Coatings Council and CEO of the American Coatings Association, commented: “Tom’s election as Vice President of the World Coatings Council was unanimously supported by industry colleagues, and I’m delighted to have such an experienced and proactive deputy in my final year as President.”

It is expected that after a 12-month term as Vice President, Tom will take over the role of President at the next annual meeting of the WCC in March 2022.

For more information on the World Coatings Council visit

AGM to Showcase Latest Technology at Key Industry Events

Applied Graphene Materials (LSE:AGM), the producer of specialty graphene nanoplatelet dispersions, is pleased to announce that it will be taking part in two events over the coming months across its key market sectors. AGM plans to showcase the Company’s latest technological developments in graphene dispersion capabilities at two events: JEC Composites Connect and CoatingsTech Conference.

The AGM team will be showcasing its graphene nanoplatelet dispersions for polymer and composite applications at JEC Composites Connect, an event which will bring together key industry players across the composites community to discuss global trends and new technologies being brought to market. With the correct incorporation through advanced materials engineering, AGM’s graphene nanoplatelets can offer composite materials improved mechanical properties, such as fracture toughness and durability, as well as enabling weight reduction across a variety of applications. Innovative collaboration projects have ranged from next-generation cryogenic pressure tanks, to automotive body panels and ocean fishing rods.

The event is taking place in digital format on June 1-2, and more information is available at

Focused on the application of AGM’s graphene dispersions, the Company will also be presenting on Tuesday 29th June at CoatingsTech conference, which is hosted by the American Coatings Association (ACA). AGM will deliver a technical presentation on the formulation of graphene dispersions for water-based coatings and their anti-corrosion benefits. The conference will be centred on the theme of “Essential Coatings Technology: Supporting Tomorrow’s Sustainable Development Challenges Today” and will feature the latest science and technology developments from industry experts, coatings professionals and leading innovators, as they address current and future market challenges.

The two-day in-person conference will take place in Pittsburgh USA. Registration for the event and more information about the ACA’s work is available at:

New compact recirculating chiller

/// IKA is launching a new device class, with the RC 2 lite

Staufen, April 12, 2021 – IKA is adding a new device class to its portfolio of recirculating chillers. The RC 2 lite is elegant, compact and powerful and is a perfect addition to rotary evaporators, reflux coolers and cold traps.

The RC 2 lite is new product class in addition to the well-known basic and control product ranges. 400 watt cooling capacity and a pump pressure of 0.35 bar: the new recirculating chiller focuses on the essentials in every respect. This makes it space-saving, powerful and extremely economical. It is ideal for simple cooling tasks down to -10 °C and as a supplementary device to rotary evaporators, reflux coolers and cold traps.

Thanks to the minimum filling volume of just one liter, the RC 2 lite is able to carry out temperature changes very quickly if necessary. Its working volume of 2.5 liters, which is quite large considering its compact size, enables a large number of external applications without the need for refilling. The highlight for users is the stainless steel mesh filter. It is easily accessible and just as easy to clean. Its ergonomic design, which is typical for all IKA products, thus contributes to the reliable performance and long service life of this basic device.

For the cooling of the RC 2 lite, IKA consistently relies on the natural refrigerant R 290, which is already being used in the demand-controlled chillers RC 2 GREEN basic and control as well as RC 5. It is one of the pure hydrocarbons, has a very low global warming potential and promises a long service life for the device, even with future usage requirements.

The RC 2 lite offers everything a good recirculating chiller needs. Its powerful pressure and suction pump enables the simultaneous operation of several applications as well as external open applications and the fill level, in the reservoir, is always in full view thanks to the large, illuminated sight glass.

Recirculating chiller RC 2 lite

BTC on the CASE!

BTC UK have a NEW mandate to distribute the BASF aromatic isocyanates and polyols for polyurethane (PUR) and CASE applications. Products include monomeric & polymeric methylene diphenyl isocyanate (MDI), toluene diisocyanate (TDI), specialized blends, modified MDI, and MDI prepolymers. The well-known Lupranat® Lupraphen® and Lupranol® types are widely used in molded and slab-stock flexible & rigid foam production and to formulate products for the coatings, adhesivessealants and elastomers (CASE) sectors.

BTC also offer the full range of Lupragen® amine catalysts for gelling and blowing reactions. The wide range on offer includes low-VOC options to assist formulators selecting for reaction rates and final properties that meet tougher sustainability goals. When you add in the range of light stabilisers, thermal & processing additives, anti-static agents, surfactants, flame retardants and cross-linkers also available, customers can now take advantage of a comprehensive portfolio of key raw materials and ingredients for formulating polyurethanes and for the CASE industries, all in one place.


Contact Chris Morgan – Head of Sales Coatings, Plastics and Inks BTC

EU Commission holds first stakeholder workshop

The EU Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability includes the objective of developing criteria on safe- and sustainable-by-design to support the shift towards inherently safe and sustainable chemicals, materials and products, throughout the entire life cycle.

As part of the process, the Commission organized a stakeholder workshop in March, to illustrate its intended approach and to gather initial feedback. Following the workshop, the Commission also released a mapping study on existing sustainability and safe-by-design initiatives, which will form the basis of the criteria development. The study is available at this link.

A second stakeholder workshop will be held in the autumn.

Q-Lab Announces Launch of QUV/uvc Accelerated Weathering Tester

Q-Lab Corporation, a global leader in accelerated weathering test equipment and test services, is excited to announce the launch of their newest QUV tester model — the QUV/uvc accelerated weathering tester.


UV light is used widely in ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI), a technique used to eliminate harmful viruses and bacteria. UVC light can cause degradation of plastics, leather, textiles, coatings, and more.The QUV/uvc model uses UVC lamps to deliver light concentrated at 254 nm to test for material durability against photodegradation effects resulting from exposure to UVC light. The QUV/uvc tester has multiple safety features to prevent stray UVC light from escaping.

QUV/uvc testers are equipped with the all-new Gen 4 controller, which features dual, full-color touchscreen displays in eight languages, including Japanese, Chinese, and Korean, with more languages coming soon. Other new features include a multi-color status LED for enhanced message notifications at a glance, direct compatibility with Universal Calibrator irradiance smart-sensors.

The QUV accelerated weathering tester is The World’s Most Widely Used Weathering Tester™ and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2020.

Q-Lab Corporation is a global leader in accelerated weathering and corrosion testers, contract testing services, and standard test panels for paints. More information on Q-Lab’s products and services, including the QUV/uvc accelerated weathering tester, can be found by visiting

BASF primer formulations become sprayable

The Acronal® acrylic and styrene-acrylic dispersions are now being formulated into modern water-based sprayable primer formulations that meet the criteria for ease of use and environmental considerations.

Primers can be designed for use on a variety of dense and/or absorbent substrates such as metals, ceramics, wood and gypsum or cement based surfaces and others such as pvc. A sprayable format reaches difficult to reach and irregular areas and the Acronal® functionality provides adhesion promotion, moisture/vapour barrier, stain blocking, resistance when priming for various layers e.g. adhesives, coatings, adhesives and levelling compounds.

Tap into environmentally sound, ready-to-use technology with low VOC, no solvent content, no use of ammonia, APEO and formaldehyde that yield odour-free formulations for fast application and easy handling. Speak to your BTC account manager to view selected guide formulations or register for the BASF Lab Assistant and discover the full range of dispersions and additives for architectural coatings and construction applications.

Contact Chris Morgan, Chris Morgan Head of Sales Coatings, Plastics and Inks BTC

Take a closer look at silicate-based masonry paints

Durable and environmentally friendly, silicate paints are growing in popularity with forward-looking manufacturers and it’s not hard to see why.

The multiple benefits offered by silicate coating technology make silicate systems ideal to meet challenging modern demands. In particular, they offer significant environmental benefits as they are solvent free and not based on petrochemical raw materials. What’s more, the chemical reaction that takes place between the binder and the masonry substrate makes the paint more durable, requiring less frequent re-application.

With 125 years’ experience with alkali silicates, our key supply partner Woellner has spent the past 50 years undertaking intense application-oriented research in the water-based coatings sector. Its Betolin® system uses high-quality silicate binders and formulation additives to deliver water-based coatings with the following advantages:
• Storable, stable ready-to-use formulations
• Advantageous application properties on most substrates
• Strengthening of weathered or sandy mineral substrates
• Excellent water vapour permeability as a result of the open pore character of the cured coatings
• Low VOC content
• Positive fire protection character
• Good colour stability
• Typically low dirt pick up to exhibit self-cleaning behaviour
• Long-term stability even in combination with photo catalytic materials
• Suitable for indoor and outdoor applications for new and old buildings.

To find out more about Woellner’s products or to discuss your specific needs, please contact Michael Austin at Blagden on 01959 560804 or email.